THE Philippines bagged three gold medals to end its campaign in the 7th Asian Junior Wushu Championships with a flourish at the Makati Coliseum on Sunday.
Noel Alabata capped the most productive outing of the hometown bets, capturing the country’s third gold of the day with a riveting come-from-behind 2-1 win over Vietnam’s Vu Vinh Duc in the men’s 48-kilogram sanda finals.
Settling for silvers were Vivine Wally and Thommy Aligaga, who lost their respective championship bouts to superior foes.
China’s Guang Acui overpowered Wally, 2-0, in the women’s 48-kg bout while Aligaga absorbed a 0-2 beating at the hands of wily and wiry Iranian Touphara Afshin Salimi in their 52-kg. match.
The day began auspiciously as tiny Jonzeth Gajo and Vanessa Jo Chan added two more golds to the country’s collection at the windup of the taolu competitions.
With just barely over a year in the sport, Gajo, a Wushu Discovery Club member, showed a lot of flair and aplomb in winning the 12-and-under boys elementary gunshu (staff) with the best score of 8.99 points.
After bagging a bronze the previous night, Chan went all-out in her last event and was handsomely rewarded with a victory in the 15-and-under girls 1st set jianshu (double-edged sword) over seven other bets with a score of 9.20 points.
The Grade 8 Baguio Patriotic School student raised her haul to two golds and one bronze, including the country’s triumph in the 8-man group exhibition and a third-place finish in the girls’ 1st set qiangshu (spear) where she scored 9.11 points.
Emerging as the topnotcher in the Southeast Asian region, the Philippines finished fifth overall in the medal standings at the end of the four-day competition with a proud haul of six gold, five silver and five bronze medals.
Indonesia (5-8-6), Vietnam (4-14-5) and Malaysia (4-3-6) wound up in sixth, seventh and eighth spots, respectively, behind the hosts.
China lorded it over the field as expected, driving its total to 18 golds, including six in the sanda competitions, plus 1‘ silver and one bronze while former British Colony Hongkong was distant second (7-7-3) and Iran third (7-5-6).